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Reconnecting with Tess: Minor Assembly Required

October 26th, 2013 by Michael Dyet

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Hmmm, do Tess Nology and I need couples counselling to restore the fractured trust between us?

As I write this article, I don’t know when I’ll be able to post it. When I tried to log on to the web tonight, I got the infuriatingly cute message at the top of this post. Few things irritate me more than being cut off by Tess Nology. The frustration arises in large part from the fact that there are multiple reasons this could be happening:

a)   Our internet service provider has an outage.

b)    The internet service to our apartment building is down.

c)    Her wireless router is kaput.

d)    Her modem crapped out.

e)    One of the cables to her modem or her router is fried.

f)     All of the above or any combination of them.

g)    Tess Nology is pissed at me because I don’t pay enough attention to her.

I have no means of determining which of these reasons apply. You see, I really don’t understand much about Tess Nology’s operating systems. It’s like I wake up one morning and find myself exiled to the moon. I have no idea how I got there or how to get back home.

So I do the obvious things. Gently disconnect and reconnect all her cables and wires. Check to see if all the lights on her router and modem are working. Unplug her main power cable and plug it back in. None of the above gets me any closer to finding out what is wrong with her. So I move to step two: do nothing and hope that she’ll have rebooted herself by tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, access to my e-mails, my blog, Facebook and a couple of other social networking sites are cut off. I hate to admit it but that bugs me to no end. The fact that something I’m cut off from the virtual world because Tess Nology is having a bad day makes me resentful.

Confession: There is a part of me that says Tess Nology should be flawless. She should never fail or, if she does, she should fix herself automatically. She should also update herself when necessary without me with needing to hold her hand and push her buttons properly (which I never seem to be able to do.)

Yes, I know that sounds unreasonable. But the truth is that when I entered into a relationship with Tess Nology, I surrendered myself to something over which I have no control. I really don’t like giving up control. And when Tess Nology holds me hostage by withholding what I’ve entrusted her to deliver, the only avenue open to me is the dreaded call to the Tech Help Couples Counsellor.

My prenuptial User Agreement with Tess Nology is simple: I surrender control to you. In return, you never fail or, if you do, you fix yourself. “User Agreement” in this context is a metaphor for mutual trust. Right now I’m not feeling the trust!

Of course, if my internet connection is back up tomorrow morning, all is forgiven and Tess Nology and I will be back on speaking terms. After all, relationships require us to forgive and forget if we’re going to make it work in the long term.

(Tess Nology’s problem turned out to be a worn out modem cable. Minor assembly required.)

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of “Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel” – double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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